Thursday, April 26, 2012

DO MALLARDS MOURN?

photos by PSC / 2011

So well camouflaged she was,
both of us spooked
when I wandered
too close to her nest

startled squawk, feathers flash,
unwieldy waddle, splash, mad paddle
she giving me a piece of her mind
for the unwelcome disturbance
my apologies, too late to appease 

Intruder now, I take advantage --
opportunity to capture some pictures
too good to pass up -- so I snap a few
photos of her progeny to be

could only estimate their numbers
from afar (ten, perhaps?) as they were so
tightly stacked, and I wanting only to
assure mama of my not unkind intentions

Imagining a photo journal, sequencing  
progression from fluff to flight,
ensuing visits, my approach more cautious
I keep my distance, she maintains her vigil,
a prudent peacekeeping, until  

days after, I find nest abandoned, 
eggs destroyed, vandalized;
a year later, I’m incapable, still,
of passing there without pause,

I wonder what happened to her
Did she make another nest? 
Lay another brood?
Does she mourn them still?

8 comments:

  1. Sad, this is.
    For several years, mallard ducks have returned to our pool site, early, with the pool still closed so the area is people-free. Two years in a row now the mallards have had their nest attacked. I think that the female duck has been targeted also. They do mourn as the male duck has returned day after day but no female and no eggs as they have been broken. Thanks for writing this poem, Pam.:(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It IS sad, Patricia. Sorry to hear you've had similar experiences with this. I just don't understand some people and what motivates them. :-| I DO believe that animals mourn, though -- have seen it on more than one occasion. :-] Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :-)

      Delete
  2. Half way through reading this (after all the "oh how precious" thoughts) I got to the "oh no" and then the "so sad". It was like reading a mini novel...intro to characters, plot, climax, ending. I like it very much. The photos are also wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda! Was worried when I wrote it that it was too long. :-] So glad you enjoyed it, and the photos. Thanks for dropping in! :-)

      Delete
  3. It is a well done story! Very sad though, I have wild ducks that come to my pond and I love them--it would break my heart to see a nest crushed like that--sigh Thank you for your lovely gift of words and pics :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Sara! Glad you stopped by and enjoyed. :-]

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, this breaks my heart. You are so tender to think of her. Thank you for this, Pamela. Truly a beauty to behold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was heartbreaking, Hannah. I know you would have felt the same. Thanks for the kind words. :-)

      Delete